Five GOP senators now oppose health bill, enough to sink it


Fixing the bill to save Medicaid's expansion theoretically wouldn't convince any of them to change their vote, while further cuts could alienate other so-called "moderate" Republicans like Heller. "We are not fixing Obamacare".

"Policies contained in the discussion draft will repeal the individual mandate so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford", McConnell said. It would offer tax credits to help offset the cost of coverage, and eliminate most ACA taxes on corporations and higher-income Americans, according to an analysis by NPR News.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that under the House bill, 23 million fewer people would have coverage by 2026. Unfortunately, this bill that was written pretty much in secret, and is now trying to be rushed through the process, doesn't do any of that. Some lawmakers are already raising concern that the bill could aggravate the problem of healthy people going without insurance, driving up costs for everyone else. "There's still an opportunity to make this bill better. Remember keep your doctor, keep your plan", the president wrote early Saturday morning.

But the Senate bill preserves another, more popular, piece of Obamacare: the requirement that insurance companies cover everyone, even those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The S.C. Hospital Association said Friday the U.S. Senate's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare "will lead to an increase in uninsured South Carolinians and disproportionately impact the state's poor, elderly and disabled community, as well as healthcare providers".

Under the plan, states could drop benefits that were required under Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, such as maternity care, emergency room services and mental health treatment. She said that the Affordable Care Act is critical to getting her daughter the care she needs.

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HOUSE: The bill would allow the Medicaid expansion to continue until January 1, 2020. It would put health care out of reach for many middle-income Americans.

Menendez gave his remarks at the Newark Community Health Center, a federally-funded health clinic where over 60 percent of patients rely on Medicaid to fund treatment. That program is jointly funded by the states and the federal government. It would also cut spending and thus reduce the federal deficit.

"It's going to be very hard to get me to a yes", Heller said.

Speaking at a press conference in his home state Friday, Heller was the first Republican senator to come out swinging against the Better Care Reconciliation Act, while at least seven others have expressed reservations but indicated they're open to negotiations.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has pushed for a vote before the July 4th Independence Day holiday recess that begins at the end of this week.